“Where did the Japan I know go? Where did the Japanese people I know end up going? Don’t you think Japan is strange right now?” Sukarno wrote in her blog posted on Wednesday.
Sukarno, once the wife of the first president of Indonesia, cited the recent trial of a frenzied stalker who stabbed pop idol Mayu Tomita and widespread bullying, particularly regarding evacuees of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, as examples of what she deems to be a nation with schools “where there are many sick people.”
Sukarno, 77, cites Moritomo Gakuen’s planned private elementary school Mizuho no Kuni Kinen Shogakuin and its nationalistic education policies as treading “the right path.”
In recent weeks, Moritomo Gakuen has been embroiled in a scandal over its purchase of land in Osaka’s Toyonaka City at a price far below market value for the school, which it plans to open on the site in the spring.
The school is affiliated with Nippon Kaigi, or Japan Conference, which aims for “a beautiful, traditional sovereignty for Japan’s future.” Meanwhile, Moritomo Gakuen is the operator of Osaka’s ultra-conservative Tsukamoto Kindergarten, whose curriculum preaches pre-World War II ideals.
Given that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is an adviser for Nippon Kaigi, there has been speculation that his administration was behind the low-ball price paid for the land. Abe, however, has denied such involvement in the Diet and vowed to resign if proven true.
Sukarno was born as Naoko Nemoto. In 1962, she became the third wife of Sukarno, the first president of Indonesia, after meeting him at a hostess club in Tokyo’s ritzy Ginza area. She later converted to Islam and took an Indonesian name.
She operates a cosmetics business and regularly appears as a commentator on television variety shows. She is also a spokesperson for the Irwin chain of detective offices and telecommunications company Softbank.
“Birth of extreme violent crimes”
Sukarno believes that education as offered by the likes of Moritomo Gakuen is desperately needed in Japan today.
“There was the trial where a female college student was stabbed in 34 places by a male fan, and there’s been too many murder cases by stalkers that creepily follow people around,” Sukarno wrote. “People have been committing suicide one after another because of persistent posts due to the spread of the internet, and slander, bullying, and harassment through others are spreading online more than you’d think.”
“Leading to the birth of extremely violent crimes, such as lynch killings by children, just how many precious lives have been lost?” Sukarno added.
“The bullying incidents that happen every day are a truly sad problem,” she continued. “It’s the end of the world when teachers and classmates are joining together and bullying others. In fact, there were students in Yokohama and Chiba [Prefecture] who considered suicide after being subjected to ‘nuclear evacuation bullying.’”
“Schools and boards of education only seem to be fixated on schemes to hide things, in a sort of ‘put a lid on things that stink,’ which means students are secondary to them, doesn’t it?” Sukarno asked.
“Encouraging anti-Japanese sentiments”
Sukarno went on to mention South Korea, claiming the country has “been sending hatred and antipathy to Japan even after 70 years since the war, being persistent over the installation of a ‘girl statue representing comfort women’ …and encouraging anti-Japanese sentiments.”
“And that is the point where Moritomo Gakuen comes in, I believe. It’s become an issue now with bashing every day, but I agree with the kind of education by Moritomo Gakuen that instills pride and confidence in Japanese people, teaches about good and evil, and nurtures patriotism and a sense of justice,” Sukarno wrote.
“Really, the Japanese government or the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology ought to be providing that kind of educational policy for Japanese people,” she wrote. “Right now, television and newspapers and such are reporting all kinds of things, but business funding difficulties are being discussed, so I would want to seek donations and economic assistance from people like myself who want to support Moritomo Gakuen.”
“For the time being, I donated one million yen as funding to open the school,” she wrote. “I intend to carry on in the future.”
She added: “Examine some of the things that Moritomo Gakuen more or less went too far with, and surely one can say that, based on the spirit of the foundation of the school, a policy that respects freedom and diversity is the right path. I am very much committed to education that conveys the resolute spirit of the Japanese people.”
“Defend Moritomo Gakuen”
“The kinds of schools we have right now in Japan where there are many sick people may not be necessary, no?” she wondered.
“To everyone in Japan, please do not be influenced by the newspaper/television bashing cases going on every day. You should uphold your own opinion and defend Moritomo Gakuen. I ask for everyone to lend their mental and economic support to Moritomo Gakuen at all costs,” Sukarno concluded.